Friday, 30 August 2013

Men of Yore: Robert Stevenson

This is another in a series of posts about men from history who have either achieved great things in one form or another by pushing boundaries: either in themselves or in society or science or exploration of some form.  Boundary pushing and growth is what men do, it's their nature: to grow and push outwards.  We, as men, are the frontiers men, the first to discover/uncover new territory, in a metaphysical sense (i.e. including both material and the immaterial) that is later colonised and 'civilised' by the rest of humanity. 

It is also partly intended to show images, be they paintings, statues or photographs of the countenaces of men of yore.  Because, quite frankly, many men wear the countenances of women these days: smiling, smirking, cooing, rolling their eyes, looking smug etc.  It's a sign of the times, and by showing some images of men from the past, I hope to show some modern men why looking surly, frowning and giving hard-ball stares at people is something to do, something to practice.




Robert Stevenson

Robert Stevenson FRSE, FGS, FRAS, MSA Scot, MWS, MInstCE (8 June 1772 – 12 July 1850) was a Scottish civil engineer and famed designer and builder of lighthouses.
One of his finest achievements was the construction of the Bell Rock Lighthouse.

Early life
Stevenson was born in Glasgow;[1] his father was Alan Stevenson, a partner in a West India trading house in the city. He died of an epidemic fever on the island of St. Christopher when Stevenson was an infant; at much the same time, Stevenson's uncle died of the same disease, leaving Alan's widow, Jane Lillie, in straitened financial circumstances. As a result, Stevenson was educated as an infant at a charity school.
His mother intended Robert for the ministry and to this end sent him to the school of a famous linguist of the day, Mr. Macintyre. However, in Stevenson's fifteenth year, Jane Lillie married Thomas Smith a tinsmith, lampmaker and ingenious mechanic who had in 1786 been appointed engineer to the newly formed Northern Lighthouse Board.
Professional career
Stevenson served as Smith's assistant, and was so successful that, at age 19, he was entrusted with the supervision of the erection of a lighthouse on the island of Little Cumbrae in the River Clyde. He devoted himself with determination to follow the profession of a civil engineer, and applied himself to the practice of surveying and architectural drawing and attended lectures in mathematics and physical sciences at the Andersonian Institute at Glasgow. Study was interleaved with work - his next project was lighthouses on Orkney. He made use of winter months to attend lectures in philosophy, mathematics, chemistry and natural history, as well as moral philosophy, logic and agriculture at the University of Edinburgh. He did not take a degree, however, having a poor (for the time) knowledge of Latin, and none of Greek.
In 1797 he was appointed engineer to the Lighthouse Board in succession to Smith; in 1799 he married Smith's eldest daughter Jean, who was also his stepsister, and in 1800 was adopted as Smith's business partner.
The most important work of Stevenson's life is the Bell Rock Lighthouse, a scheme long in the gestation and then long and extremely hazardous in the construction. This structure was based upon the design of the earlier Eddystone Lighthouse by John Smeaton but with several improvements. The involvement of John Rennie as a consulting engineer in the project led to some contention for the credit upon the successful completion of the project; particularly between Alan Stevenson, Robert's son, and Sir John Rennie, son of the consulting engineer. Samuel Smiles, the popular engineering author of the time, published an account taken from Rennie, which assisted in establishing his claim. History, and the Northern Lighthouse Board, give full credit to Stevenson.
Stevenson's work on the Bell Rock and elsewhere provided a fund of anecdotes of the danger in which he placed himself. Returning from the Orkney Islands in 1794 on the sloop Elizabeth of Stromness, he had the good fortune to be rowed ashore when the Elizabeth became becalmed off Kinnaird Head; the ship was later driven back by a gale to Orkney, and there foundered losing all hands. On Bell Rock, which was covered by all but the lowest tide, he tells of an occasion when one of the crew boats drifted away leaving insufficient carrying capacity for the crew in the remaining boats; the situation was saved by the timely arrival of the Bell Rock pilot boat, on an errand to deliver mail to Stevenson.
Stevenson served for nearly fifty years as engineer to the Northern Lighthouse Board, until 1842,[1] during which time he designed and oversaw the construction and later improvement of numerous lighthouses. He innovated in the choice of light sources, mountings, reflector design, the use of Fresnel lenses, and in rotation and shuttering systems providing lighthouses with individual signatures allowing them to be identified by seafarers. For this last innovation he was awarded a gold medal by the William I of the Netherlands.
The period after Waterloo and the end of the continental wars was a time of much improvement of the fabric of the country, and engineering skills were much in demand. Besides his work for the Northern Lighthouse Board, he acted as a consulting engineer on many occasions, and worked with Rennie, Alexander Nimmo, Thomas Telford, William Walker, Archibald Elliot[2] and William Cubitt. Projects included roads, bridges, harbours, canals and railways, and river navigations. He designed and oversaw the construction of the Hutcheson Bridge in Glasgow, and the Regent Bridge[2] and approaches from the East to Edinburgh. He projected a number of canals and railways which were not built; and new and improved designs for bridges, some later adopted and implemented by his successors. He invented the movable jib and balance cranes as necessary part of his lighthouse construction; and George Stephenson acknowledged his lead in the selection of malleable rather than cast-iron rails for railways.
He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1815. He published an Account of the Bell Rock Lighthouse in 1824; a paper on the North Sea, establishing by evidence that it was eroding the eastern coastline of the United Kingdom, and that the great sandbanks were the spoil taken by the sea. He devised and tested the hypothesis that freshwater and saltwater at river mouths exist as separate and distinct streams. He contributed to the Encyclopædia Britannica and the Edinburgh Encyclopaedia, and published in a number of the scientific journals of the day.
Three of Stevenson’s sons became engineers: David, Alan, and Thomas; he also had a daughter, who assisted in writing and illustrating an account of the Bell Rock Lighthouse construction. Robert Louis Stevenson was his grandson, via Thomas.
Stevenson died on 12 July 1850 in Edinburgh.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Stevenson_(civil_engineer)

Robert Stevenson constructed lighthouses, functional, lifesaving structures that silently do their job out of the way of civilisation, far from the eyes of the people they help, like giant monolithic watchtowers on the edge of the city making sure that danger is kept at bay and it's inhabitants remain safe.  While his accomplishments are not as famous nor as glamorous as those of his son (Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island) they are no less important.  Like other civil engineers who design the structures that make our lives more pleasant (transport structures, communications, sewerage etc), his designs enabled us to live the lives that we currently do: we have the ability to order/purchase goods from overseas with an almost 100% guaratee that the ship carrying them will arrive at port safely.  While ships may use GPS, sonar and other navigation systems to safely traverse the seas, lighthouses were used prior to the development of these technologies.


Check out some of the other entries from the 'Men of Yore' series:


[End.]

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Havamal Snippets 85: A cracking bow, a burning flame..

This stanza is a series of synonyms.  It's like at least one other religious text (the Nag Hammadi) and it's pretty much like a dictionary: it uses a number of different examples in order to convey a single phenomenon.  Like a person might say "a lava flow; a cup of tea; scalding steam; a burning fire", which are all similar because they describe something hot.

The phenomenon that the stanza is trying to convey might be: Powerful, Wodh like (as in 'blazing' with energy), imminence.  As in the period immediately after moving from 'A' to 'Not-A' (like getting off of a train onto a station platform after a long journey).


85
Brestanda boga
brennanda loga
gínanda úlfi
galandi kráku
rýtanda svíni
rótlausum viði
vaxanda vági
vellanda katli 

A cracking bow,
a burning flame,
a gaping wolf,
a screaming crow,
a grunting pig,
a rootless tree,
a rising sea,
a boiling kettle,

[End.]

Monday, 26 August 2013

Alternative Lyrics to Well Known Songs: 1 - Odin, Ve and Vili


[Pre-amble: This is one in a series of posts which includes an alternative set of lyrics to a well known song.  Each post will also contain a short introduction to the topic at hand, and a brief explanation of the song itself.  A video of the original song will be included so that the reader can listen to the original song while reciting the alternative lyrics at the same time.]



Introduction:
This time around we've got a song which deals with the really banal (yet also philosophical) topic of 'Choosing'.  More options are added to the world as more men 'find out who they are' (to use some old hippy parlance) and share their passion/joy with other men.


The Song: Odin, Ve and Vili (based on 'One Hand in my Pocket' by Alanis Morrisette)
The act of 'choosing' is the heart of this song.  Making a 'choice' (any choice, whether it's "What philosophical system shall I live by?" or "What vegetables shall I have for dinner?") requires three separate acts, which are summed up in the three Gods of the Nordic Trinity, three brothers, who were responsible for the creation of the cosmos:
1. Odin (The God of Being/Doing - the opposite of apathy)
2. Ve (The God of Sense perception - the opposite of oblviousness)
3. Vili (The God of Will/thought - the opposite of mindeslessness)

I'll now elucdiate each of these stages to make it easier to understand; and we'll use a simple example of deciding what to have for dinner as the basis for the example:

1. Firstly, in order to make any kind of Choice, first there must be Options for you to choose from.  Creating these 'Options' requires energetic creativity to either 'play around' (like kids), or 'experiment' (like scientists), or try 'something new' (like regular folk).  By being creative, by being active, you create new things or acquire new things both of which provide you with more options than you formerly had.  For instance if you went to your local K-Mart and bought a readymade casserole and a readymade pie then that would provide you with two more 'Options' of what to eat for dinner.

2. Secondly, once you have acquired these new 'Options' you need to perceive them and become aware of them and all their attributes.  It's better to be fully aware of the attributes that each 'Options' has.  That way you can make a better, more accurate 'Choice' that benefits you.  For instance you may study the packaging of your two readymeals, the pie and the casserole, and determin that the casserole has more protein in it, but the pie has more carbohydrates in it.

3. Thirdly, you need to think about which one of the 'Options' you are going to 'Choose'.  Considering the pros and cons, the advantages and pitfalls of each choice and which 'Option' will serve you best, will give you what you want.  For instance having seen that the casserole has more protein in it than the pie, and knowing that you will be body-building at the gym this evening, you see that the protein will be more advantageous to you than the carbohydrates, and so willfully 'Choose' the 'Option' of casserole for your evening meal.

After the third and final stage, the process starts where it began: with Doing, with Odin, with actively eating your casserole.  That's the cycle of the Norse Trinity, ending where it begun and beginning where it ended.  And it goes on for as long as you want it.
 
A 'Triquetra'

While I don't know what the Triquetra symbolises (internet searches haven't yielded anything definite other than 'a symbol of Odin'), when I see it I think of Odin, Ve and Vili.  Posters and t-shirts of it are probably available from local Goth shops, as are items of jewelry if that floats your boat.  Either way if you have an image of it floating around in your life somewhere then it will jog your memory every once in a blue moon, like any little trinket, and cause you to remember Odin, Ve and Vili (Doing, Sensing, Thinking).

A final sentence on the structure of the song.  Each of the verses in the song deals with one of the Gods and includes a collection of that particular Gods attributes.


Play the song in the video above and then song along with the alternative lyrics below.

# Odin, Ve and Vili #
I'm Odin and being.
I'm motion and doing.
I'm hot and I'm hairy yeah.
I'm mad and I'm frenzied.
I'm strong and I'm forthright.
I'm love and I'm hatred baby.

And what it all comes down to,
Is that everything is gonna be fine, fine, fine.
Because while Odin is creating,
Ve and Vili are standing on the side line.

I'm Ve and I'm sensing.
I'm seeing and I'm hearing.
I'm discriminating yeah.
I'm tasting and touching.
I'm observant and perceptive.
I'm smelling and ESP baby.

And what it all comes down to,
Is that everythings gonna be quite alright.
Because while Ve observes the Options,
Odin and Vili are standing on the side line.

And what it all comes down to-oo-oo,
Is that I haven't got it all figured it all out just yet.
Because while Vili is Choosing one Option,
Odin and Ve are standing on the side line.

I'm Vili and Will-ful.
I'm mind and I'm judging.
I'm considered and dispassionate.
I'm logic and I'm reason.
I'm thought and I'm thinking.
I'm memory and recall baby.

And what it all boils down to,
Is that no-ones really got it figured out just yet.
Because Odin, Ve and Vili,
Are enjoying their newly chosen life.

And what it all comes down to my friends, yeah,
Is that everything is just fine, fine, fine.
Because Odin, Ve and Vili,
Will for ever be there to counsel me.


[End of lyrics.]

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Havamal Snippets 84: Women are forever changing their minds

This is one in a series of very short posts containing snippets from the Havamal text (which can be found in full here - http://www.beyondweird.com/high-one.html).

Why post snippets of an old pagan text here, in a blog that's supposedly about the Androsphere? I’m posting them because they contain helpful everyday advice that is applicable in the modern world e.g. being aware of your surrounding environment, drinking alcohol responsibly, how to score with women. And for many of us, it is part of our heritage that goes back to Proto-Indo-European (PIE) beliefs that stretch back 4000 years or more.

Christianity offers the only dominant philosophical view points in the Androsphere, represented by bloggers like Free Northerner and Simon Grey. Christianity, and indeed the other monotheisms from the region draw, from the mythologies of the PIE culture. For instance Noah s flood is a replication of the Epic of Gilgamesh, and the story of the Angels rebelling against God in the bible is just a copy of the Giants rebelling against the Gods, which is present in both the Greek and Norse religious traditions, as Arthur Schopenhauer pointed out in the eighteenth century.

    The downfall of the Titans, whom Zeus hurls into the underworld, seems to be the same story as the downfall of the angels who rebelled against Jehovah.
    The story of Idomeneus, who sacrificed his son ex voto, and that of Jephtha is essentially the same
    Can it be that the root of the Gothic and the Greek language lies in Sanskrit, so there is an older mythology from whith the Greek and Jewish mythologies derive? If you cared to give scope to your imangination you could even adduce that the twofold-long long in which Zeus begot Heracles on Alcmene came about because further east Joshua at Jericho told the sun to stand stil. Zeus and Jehovah were thus assisting one another: for the gods of Heaven are, like those of earth, always secretly in alliance. But how innocent ws the pastime of Father Zeus compared with the bloodthirsty activities of Jehovah and his chosen brigands. {page 220}
Source: Schopenhauer A. (2004), 'Essays and Aphorisms' (Hollingdale translation), London, Penguin.

So, instead of offering you snippets of second-hand wisdom from the Bible, I will offer you snippets of first-hand wisdom from the (probably) older and much more concise Havamal text (roughly 5,000 words compared to the 190,000 words of the New Testament).



My own thoughts are in italics.

Women lie.  It's in their nature.  This isn't a moral judgement (ie "this is wrong", but rather an observation).  Feminine people lie, it's in their nature.  See Angry Harry's piece on lying women.  As for the allusion to women being fickle, 'like a potters wheel', we all know women change their minds: a yes can become a no, a no can become a yes, a yes can become a maybe.  This is because in metaphysical terms women are in a constant state of flux/change relative to men who are sturdy.  Just think of woman as 'quantum level physics' and men as 'normal physics': the quantum world is forever changing, and the normal world is static.  Polar opposites: forever changing (female) on one side, forvever the same (male) on the other.  Like two sides of a coin.

84
Meyjar orðum
skyli manngi trúa
né því er kveðr kona
því at á hverfanda hvéli
váru þeim hjörtu sköpuð
brigð í brjóst um lagit

[2] No-one should trust
[1] in the words of a maid,
nor in what a woman says,
[4] for [5] their hearts were shaped
[4] on a (potter's) turning wheel,
and fickleness placed in their breasts.


[End.]

Friday, 23 August 2013

Men of Yore: Pierre-Paul Riquet

This is another in a series of posts about men from history who have either achieved great things in one form or another by pushing boundaries: either in themselves or in society or science or exploration of some form.  Boundary pushing and growth is what men do, it's their nature: to grow and push outwards.  We, as men, are the frontiers men, the first to discover/uncover new territory, in a metaphysical sense (i.e. including both material and the immaterial) that is later colonised and 'civilised' by the rest of humanity. 

It is also partly intended to show images, be they paintings, statues or photographs of the countenaces of men of yore.  Because, quite frankly, many men wear the countenances of women these days: smiling, smirking, cooing, rolling their eyes, looking smug etc.  It's a sign of the times, and by showing some images of men from the past, I hope to show some modern men why looking surly, frowning and giving hard-ball stares at people is something to do, something to practice.




Pierre-Paul Riquet


Pierre-Paul Riquet (June 29, 1609 (some sources say 1604) – October 4, 1680) was the engineer and canal-builder responsible for the construction of the Canal du Midi.
Paul Riquet was born in Béziers, Hérault, France. As a youth, Riquet was only interested in mathematics and science. He married Catherine de Milhau at age 19. As a fermier général ("farmer-general") of Languedoc-Roussillon, he was a tax farmer responsible for the collection and administration of the gabelle (salt tax) in Languedoc. He was appointed collector in 1630.[1] Riquet became wealthy and was given permission by the King to levy his own taxes. This gave him greater wealth, which allowed him to execute grand projects with technical expertise.

The Canal du Midi
Riquet is the man responsible for building the 240-kilometre-long artificial waterway that links the southern coast of France to Toulouse to link to the canal/river system that ran across to the Bay of Biscay, one of the great engineering feats of the 17th century. The logistics were immense and complex, so much so that other engineers including the ancient Romans had discussed the idea but not proceeded with it. Even so, Louis XIV was keen for the project to proceed, largely because of the increasing cost and danger of transporting cargo and trade around southern Spain where pirates were common.
Planning, financing, and construction of the Canal du Midi completely absorbed Riquet from 1665 forward. Numerous problems occurred, including navigating around many hills and providing a system that would feed the canal with water through the dry summer months. Advances in lock engineering and the creation of a 6 million cubic metre artificial lake—the Bassin de St. Ferréol — provided solutions.
The high cost of construction depleted Riquet's personal fortune and the seemingly insurmountable problems caused his sponsors, including Louis XIV, to lose interest. The canal was completed in 1681, eight months after Riquet's death.[1][2]
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre-Paul_Riquet


Another engineer this week, and one who thought on a grand scale, who thought outside of the box, and did something that was considered impossible at the time: he built a canal across dry and mountainous land allowing goods and people to travel between the Atlantic cost of France and the Mediterranean coast of France without having to travel around Spain (which was plagued by pirates and high taxes at the time).  Operating on a grand scale was not daunting to this man, whenever he encountered a problem, a difficulty, he didn't shy away, but engaged with the problem and solved it on his own.



Check out some of the other entries from the 'Men of Yore' series:


[End.]

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Havamal Snippets 83: There is a best way of doing everything

This is one in a series of very short posts containing snippets from the Havamal text (which can be found in full here - http://www.beyondweird.com/high-one.html).

Why post snippets of an old pagan text here, in a blog that's supposedly about the Androsphere? I’m posting them because they contain helpful everyday advice that is applicable in the modern world e.g. being aware of your surrounding environment, drinking alcohol responsibly, how to score with women. And for many of us, it is part of our heritage that goes back to Proto-Indo-European (PIE) beliefs that stretch back 4000 years or more.

Christianity offers the only dominant philosophical view points in the Androsphere, represented by bloggers like Vox Day and Simon Grey. Christianity, and indeed the other monotheisms from the region draw, from the mythologies of the PIE culture. For instance Noah s flood is a replication of the Epic of Gilgamesh, and the story of the Angels rebelling against God in the bible is just a copy of the Giants rebelling against the Gods, which is present in both the Greek and Norse religious traditions, as Arthur Schopenhauer pointed out in the eighteenth century.

    The downfall of the Titans, whom Zeus hurls into the underworld, seems to be the same story as the downfall of the angels who rebelled against Jehovah.
    The story of Idomeneus, who sacrificed his son ex voto, and that of Jephtha is essentially the same
    Can it be that the root of the Gothic and the Greek language lies in Sanskrit, so there is an older mythology from whith the Greek and Jewish mythologies derive? If you cared to give scope to your imangination you could even adduce that the twofold-long long in which Zeus begot Heracles on Alcmene came about because further east Joshua at Jericho told the sun to stand stil. Zeus and Jehovah were thus assisting one another: for the gods of Heaven are, like those of earth, always secretly in alliance. But how innocent ws the pastime of Father Zeus compared with the bloodthirsty activities of Jehovah and his chosen brigands. {page 220}
Source: Schopenhauer A. (2004), 'Essays and Aphorisms' (Hollingdale translation), London, Penguin.

So, instead of offering you snippets of second-hand wisdom from the Bible, I will offer you snippets of first-hand wisdom from the (probably) older and much more concise Havamal text (roughly 5,000 words compared to the 190,000 words of the New Testament).


My own thoughts are in italics.


The meaning of this stanza is unclear to me.  It consists of a series of three pairs of 'opposites' (like yin and yang, or hot and cold, or male and female), but besides that I don't know what to remark of it.

The only thoughts that spring to mind are:
- Drinking ale and skating on ice both share the context of 'chaotic', because when one gets drunk one is mentally 'all over the place', as is one physically when skating on ice. 
- The lean steed and dirty sword both share the context of 'body fat', because the lean steed is free body fat, whils the sword is covered in it.
- The home fed horse and the 'out of house' fed dog both share the context of 'feeding location', because the horse is fed at home while the dog is fed out of home.

It's also similar to stanza 82, which highlights that 'there is a best way of doing everything'.  Though in this stanza is highlights that 'both sides of coin' (yin and yang, hot and cold etc) can be used in different situations.  Like trying to stop a drunk man from crossing a motorway requires 'force', but trying to stop a sober man from crossing a motorway requires 'reason'.  The former is a physical thing, the latter is a mental thing.  Two opposites.

83
Við eld skal öl drekka
en á ísi skríða
magran mar kaupa
en mæki saurgan
heima hest feita
en hund á búi

Drink ale by the fire
but skate on the ice,
buy a lean steed
but a dirty sword, *
fatten a horse at home
but farm out a dog.

[End.]

Monday, 19 August 2013

'Shit Tests' are for Shit:

Man creates and woman destroys.  These characteristics are demonstrated in everyday life.  Firstly look at stable male-headed families, secondly look at chaotic single-mother families, or businesses headed by women, or even women in the army; destruction, entropy is what women excel at.  It's part of their nature, to degrade, to debase, to destroy.  This is not a value judgement, I'm not saying that women are inherently evil and stand in direct opposition to goodness.  This is an observation, like saying that rocks fall down hill because of gravity, or biological material decays because entropy.  Entropy, death, has it's uses (like a burning forest fire that clears out the dead wood), but only as a servant to life, to goodness (or call it what you will; if entropy/death ruled over life then we'd never be able to evolve, to progress either genetically as a species, or memetically as a culture.  Quite frankly, if Entropy ruled 'over' Life, then we'd all be in the shit!

So what are Shit Tests supposed to be?
Click here for the PUA definition.  According to the PUAs who coined the term they are an evolutionary tool used by women to determine the fitness of male partners for purposes of reproduction.  Basically if a man fails a shit test by a woman then he WON'T be allowed to breed with that woman.  Now this concept has two obvious problems:

1 - Women DO NOT choose the best sexual partners to breed with.  Ask yourself this: do women fantasize over genetically mediocre pop-stars or genetically superior (both in body and brains) astronauts?  Clearly Pop Stars are more popular (hence the term 'pop') than astronauts.  I'm pretty sure that astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong didn't had as many groupies as pop stars Mick Jagger, or Robbie Williams.

Now you may say that "Women choose pop stars because they follow the herds choice" in which case I must ask "How do women then determine what fitness is?".  If they are incapable of determining fitness, if they are reliant on the views of others to determine what fitness is, the views of other women, who are in turn dependent on views of other women, then how can women use Shit Tests as a tool for choosing a fit mate?  It's not possible, because women are unable to determine what fitness is in the first place.  In short: Women don't know what fitness is, so they cannot construct a test to determine who a fit mate is.

2 - Women's general behaviour towards other women shows that Shit Tests are not just used against men whom they want to breed with: there is lots of catty behaviour, 'bitching', sarcasm, all of which are exactly like the behaviour described in Shit Tests.  Does this mean that women are Shit Testing other women?  That they really want to get some hard-core lesbo action?  That they want to wack-in a double-ended dildo and go at it like the proverbial rabbits?  No, of course it doesn't.  Women don't Shit Test other women to determine if they are genetically 'Fit' partners, because you can't produce offspring with a woman and a woman; you need a man and a woman to have children.  So you see that women’s behaviour towards other women demonstrates that Shit Tests are nothing to do with Genetic Fitness at all.

If you think that all the activities, behavioural traits, of women are good all of the time including the behaviour that is seen as Shit Testing, then you are simply mistaken, and are going to suffer because of it.  You’ll suffer because you'll end up perceiving negative female behaviour as something positive, and that's definitely no good thing.

Instead of seeing the various types of female behaviour as 'a good thing' see them as a bad thing, and be prepared to deal with them accordingly.  Simon Sheppard has an excellent list of female behaviours at his www.heretical.com site which is an excellent list of behavioural traits.

[End.]

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Havamal Snippets 82: There is a best way to do everything

This is one in a series of very short posts containing snippets from the Havamal text (which can be found in full here - http://www.beyondweird.com/high-one.html).

Why post snippets of an old pagan text here, in a blog that's supposedly about the Androsphere? I’m posting them because they contain helpful everyday advice that is applicable in the modern world e.g. being aware of your surrounding environment, drinking alcohol responsibly, how to score with women. And for many of us, it is part of our heritage that goes back to Proto-Indo-European (PIE) beliefs that stretch back 4000 years or more.

Christianity offers the only dominant philosophical view points in the Androsphere, represented by bloggers like Vox Day and Simon Grey. Christianity, and indeed the other monotheisms from the region draw, from the mythologies of the PIE culture. For instance Noah s flood is a replication of the Epic of Gilgamesh, and the story of the Angels rebelling against God in the bible is just a copy of the Giants rebelling against the Gods, which is present in both the Greek and Norse religious traditions, as Arthur Schopenhauer pointed out in the eighteenth century.

    The downfall of the Titans, whom Zeus hurls into the underworld, seems to be the same story as the downfall of the angels who rebelled against Jehovah.
    The story of Idomeneus, who sacrificed his son ex voto, and that of Jephtha is essentially the same
    Can it be that the root of the Gothic and the Greek language lies in Sanskrit, so there is an older mythology from whith the Greek and Jewish mythologies derive? If you cared to give scope to your imangination you could even adduce that the twofold-long long in which Zeus begot Heracles on Alcmene came about because further east Joshua at Jericho told the sun to stand stil. Zeus and Jehovah were thus assisting one another: for the gods of Heaven are, like those of earth, always secretly in alliance. But how innocent ws the pastime of Father Zeus compared with the bloodthirsty activities of Jehovah and his chosen brigands. {page 220}
Source: Schopenhauer A. (2004), 'Essays and Aphorisms' (Hollingdale translation), London, Penguin.

So, instead of offering you snippets of second-hand wisdom from the Bible, I will offer you snippets of first-hand wisdom from the (probably) older and much more concise Havamal text (roughly 5,000 words compared to the 190,000 words of the New Testament).

(My own thoughts/comments are in italics).
There is a best way to do everything; a nature for everything which is good to understand.  Whether it's cooking your dinner, or flying the the moon, there is a right way to do it.

82
Í vindi skal við höggva
veðri á sjó róa
myrkri við man spjalla
mörg eru dags augu
á skip skal skriðar orka
en á skjöld til hlífar
mæki höggs
en mey til kossa

Wood must be hewed in the wind,
row out to sea in good weather,
talk with maidens in the dark,
many are the eyes of the day.
A ship must be used for a swift journey
and a shield for protection,
a sword for a blow
and a maiden for kisses.


[End.]

Friday, 16 August 2013

Men of Yore: John Deere

This is another in a series of posts about men from history who have either achieved great things in one form or another by pushing boundaries: either in themselves or in society or science or exploration of some form.  Boundary pushing and growth is what men do, it's their nature: to grow and push outwards.  We, as men, are the frontiers men, the first to discover/uncover new territory, in a metaphysical sense (i.e. including both material and the immaterial) that is later colonised and 'civilised' by the rest of humanity. 

It is also partly intended to show images, be they paintings, statues or photographs of the countenaces of men of yore.  Because, quite frankly, many men wear the countenances of women these days: smiling, smirking, cooing, rolling their eyes, looking smug etc.  It's a sign of the times, and by showing some images of men from the past, I hope to show some modern men why looking surly, frowning and giving hard-ball stares at people is something to do, something to practice.



John Deere

John Deere: A Biography
When John Deere crafted his famous steel plow in his blacksmith shop in 1837, he also forged the beginnings of Deere & Company—a company that today does business around the world and employs more than 50,000 people.

As we celebrate the 209th anniversary of the birth of this enterprising pioneer, it’s appropriate to look back at his life and the legacy he left.

John was born in Rutland, Vermont, on February 7, 1804, and raised in nearby Middlebury. He was just 4 years old when his father was lost at sea, leaving his mother, Sarah Deere, to raise John and his five brothers and sisters. Due to his family’s near poverty lifestyle, John received no more than the simplest of education.
In an effort to help out his mother, and without her knowledge, John took a job in his early teens with a tanner, where he ground bark in exchange for a small amount of money, a pair of shoes and a suit of clothes.
At the age of 17, in 1821, John left home, with his mother’s blessing, to become an apprentice to a prosperous blacksmith of notable reputation in Middlebury, Captain Benjamin Lawrence. For the four-year apprenticeship, John was paid a $30 stipend the first year, and an additional $5 for each of the remaining years. He also received room and board and a set of clothes. Perhaps more valuable, John gained guidance from the stern, yet skilled Captain Lawrence, who not only taught him blacksmithing, but likely filled the void left by the death of John’s father more than a decade earlier.

Completing his apprenticeship in 1825, an eager, young John Deere moved on to journeyman positions, where he honed his skills and learned first-hand that a blacksmith’s workmanship was his signature.
John likely performed a variety of blacksmith duties, from shoeing horses and producing pots, pans and skillets, to manufacturing farm implements such as hay rakes and forks. But the most common work of blacksmiths of that time was furnishing the ironwork for stagecoaches and mills.

It was during this period that John met Demarius Lamb, a young woman attending boarding school in Middlebury. Despite the differences in their backgrounds, the two were married in 1827. John was 23, Demarius, 22.

For the next decade, John and his growing family would move from town to town throughout central Vermont searching for steady work. There was no shortage of skilled blacksmiths in the area and competition was keen. At one point, John borrowed money to buy land and build his own blacksmith shop, only to have it destroyed by fire not once, but twice. He was forced to sell the property he had just acquired, putting his dream of proprietorship on hold for the time being.

The fires had left John deeply in debt and once again, in need of a stable income. It was the 1830s, and fellow Vermonters shared John’s economic woes. The state’s rich timberland had been cut down, land was losing value, and the formerly rich and protected soil was washed away by a series of disastrous storms. A grasshopper plague weakened crop yields. Making matters worse, the nation’s banking system was collapsing in what would become known as the “Panic of 1837.”

Searching for a fresh start, Easterners began fleeing West to the prairies of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. A former employer of John Deere’s had settled in a small village on the Rock River in northwestern Illinois, named Grand Detour. On a return trip to Vermont to fetch his family, the man enticed John with tales of opportunity in the flat, expansive prairie.

Perhaps what finally made up John’s mind was a summons he received in November of 1836 to appear before a justice of the peace in the Village of Leicester. John owed a note for $78.76 and the lender wanted payment. John’s future, indeed, looked bleak. What should he do? Stay in Vermont and risk losing his land, or worse yet, face debtors prison? Or, leave his family behind while he got established in Illinois, made some money to pay his debts and then retrieve his loved ones?

John made the difficult decision to leave his family, including a pregnant wife and four children, and head West to seek his fortune. Traveling by canal boat, steamer and wagon, and with just $73 in his pocket, John made the several week trip to Grand Detour. Upon arrival, John rented land near the river, hastily built a small blacksmith shop and began receiving work in a few days.

It wasn’t long before he heard tales of frustration from the transplanted Vermont farmers, struggling to break the tough prairie sod. Their cast-iron plows that worked so well in the light, sandy New England soil, performed poorly in the sticky soil of the Midwest. Soil clung to the plow bottoms and had to be removed, by hand, every few steps, making plowing an arduous and time-consuming task.

Despite his difficulties in Vermont, John was an inventive and skilled blacksmith. He realized that a plow with a highly polished surface could clean—or scour—itself as it moved through the field.

One day, in 1837, John spotted a broken sawblade in the corner of a sawmill and asked the owner if he could take it back to his shop. There John Deere fashioned the world’s first successful steel plow, and in doing so, opened up the West to agricultural development.

It was time to send for his family. In late 1838, Demarius and the five Deere children embarked on the six-week journey west, primarily by covered wagon. Baby Charles, who would later succeed his father as president of Deere & Company, was cradled in the wagon’s feedbox.

Though he had neither the facilities nor financial resources to produce more than a few plows a year, John Deere soon realized his future success lay in the plow business rather than the blacksmith trade.
So John set to work building steel plows, constantly improving the design to set his product apart from the competition. He began taking on partners, to help finance his young company. Especially costly were the large shipments of steel he imported from England—the only place he could find the material at the time.
John impressed his early partners not so much with his inventiveness, but with his motivation, dedication and ability to solve problems.

In 1848, John Deere moved his operation to the enterprising, young town of Moline, Illinois, to lower his costs by taking advantage of better transportation and water power provided by the Mississippi River. Within a few years, production had reached 1600 plows a year and John was getting his own special steel, rolled to his specifications, from mills in Pittsburgh.

Many of these first plows were loaded on wagons and peddled throughout the countryside. Others were shipped by steamboat to river towns up and down the Mississippi. Teams and wagons were then dispatched to distribute the plows to merchants in nearby villages, as railroads did not yet extend west beyond the river.
It was during these early days of the company that John Deere laid down principles of doing business that are still followed today. Among them was his insistence on high standards of quality. “I will never put my name on a product that does not have in it the best that is in me,” he vowed.

One of John’s early partners would often chide him for constantly making changes in design, saying the work was unnecessary because the farmers had to take whatever they produced. John is said to have replied, “They haven’t got to take what we make and somebody else will beat us, and we will lose our trade.”
John made certain his oldest surviving son Charles (see photo at left) received the formal education he was denied, no doubt with an eye toward bringing him into the business. Young Charles was educated in a number of private Moline schools, went on to Iowa College in Davenport, Iowa, across the river, and then to Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. He completed his formal education at the prestigious Bell’s Commercial College in Chicago, earning today’s equivalent of an MBA.

With his education completed, Charles joined the company as a bookkeeper in 1853, at the age of 16. Working his way through a variety of positions, Charles quickly earned a reputation as a keen businessman. This must have delighted John, as it allowed the father and son to both focus on what they did best—Charles handling the business, and John attending to the products and sales.

By 1858, John had turned over management of the business to Charles, who was just 21 at the time. This gave the 54-year-old John more time to devote to social and philanthropic causes.

In the early 1850s, John became interested in politics and agreed to be chairman of the county convention for the Whig party. When the Republican party was later formed, John quickly became an active member and a strong abolitionist during the emotional years of the Civil War.

John also led the efforts to bring a fire engine to Moline, co-founded the First National Bank and was a trustee of the First Congregational Church. He was well known for his generous contributions to local educational, religious and charitable organizations.

Although still officially serving as president of Deere & Company, John’s role in the business was minimal after the Civil War. He purchased a farm east of Moline in the early 1860s and raised registered Jersey cattle and Berkshire hogs. In 1865, his wife of 38 years, Demarius, died at the age of 60. The next year, John traveled to his native Vermont and married Demarius’s younger sister Lucenia.

Capitalizing on his political experience, John was elected the second mayor of Moline in 1873, in the throes of the temperance movement. Though a supporter of temperance, he helped pass a liquor license ordinance and received widespread criticism. Mayor Deere, however, was credited for constructing and repairing sidewalks and streets and replacing open drains with sewer pipe to prevent disease.

After his two year term was up, John was more than ready to leave the political mudslinging behind. He and Lucenia made frequent visits back to Vermont and escaped the Midwest winters with trips to Santa Barbara and San Francisco, thanks to the recently completed transcontinental railroad.

John Deere died on May 17, 1886, at the age of 82, at his spacious home Red Cliff, which overlooked the sprawling city he had built, now with more than 10,000 residents.

Moline fell into mourning. Deere & Company’s factories and offices, as well as others in the city were draped in black. Flags were hung at half-mast and many private citizens placed photographs of John Deere in the windows of their homes, framed by black curtains.

Three days later, more than 4,000 people stood in line at the First Congregational Church to pay their final respects. A funeral cortege consisting of company workers, police, mourners on foot and in 11 carriages, and the city’s mayor and city council then processed to Riverside Cemetery where John Deere was laid to rest.

So while the man himself was gone, his legacy lived on in a way he could have never imagined. His descendents or their spouses went on to lead the company John Deere founded for the next 96 years.
Deere & Company is guided today, as it has been from the beginning, by core values that were key to its early success: quality, innovation, integrity and commitment.

As John Deere first declared so many years ago, customers trust Deere & Company to deliver the best that is within them. That has become not only John Deere’s legacy, but the company’s purpose—to create an exceptional and sustained experience of genuine value for customers, employees and shareholders—a performance that endures
Source: http://nortrax.com/about/deere/index.html


John Deere faced set-backs early on in his life, losing his workshop twice to fire, and being thrown in prison for debt.  Yet he was not discouraged or disheartened by these events, he carried on, persevered and didn't 'throw in the towel'.  And his perseverance paid off.  He developed a revolutionary piece of agricultural equipment that allowed formerly un-farmable lands to become planted and farmed.





Check out some of the other entries from the 'Men of Yore' series:


[End.]